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Headaches and hair loss: Why Olivia from Love Island’s high pony is a danger to herself

Her scalp is screaming for release!!


Although they might have once been problematically called the Croydon facelift, thanks to their skin elevating abilities, in 2023 high pony tails are undeniably chic. Bella Hadid’s slicked back look turned the style into high fashion and took over TikTok in 2021. Ariana Grande entered her pony era as early as the mid 2000s.

And Love Island’s Olivia Hawkins has worn her hair high and proud nearly every day since she entered the villa in South Africa. It looks cool but, tbh, we’re worried. Like, are her hair follicles okay?

Most women have a visceral memory of their hair being scraped up into a similar style for school. By the time the bell for first break rings, you have an emerging headache. By lunchtime you think your temples might explode. So, obv the nation has descended into panic over Olivia’s constant higher than God hair:

“I’m so worried for Olivia’s hairline, she does not give the pony a rest,” one Love Island fan panicked on Twitter. “You must have a headache before the boys even open their mouths, I wouldn’t be able to cope,” added another.

So, to get to the bottom of whether Olivia’s in danger of receding by the time she’s on the plane back to the UK, we’ve spoken to hair care experts about the high pony tail enigma and what the after effects on Liv’s scalp could really be.

Thoughts and prayers x

Olivia Love Island hair loss

Credit: Instagram (@livhawkinss)

“Nothing looks more chic than a tight snatch ponytail for a strong updo,” says Salon 64 owner Ricky Walters. “It’s the perfect way of making a more casual look slightly more formal or formal look a little more feminine.

“That being said, you have to be very careful when creating such extreme tight hairups like this,” he added. “If created incorrectly you can risk hair loss known as ‘tension alopecia’. This is when a huge amount of pressure from being pulled on the root occurs when continually pulling on the same spot over and over. Resulting in the hair falling out.”

Olivia Love Island hair loss

Credit: Instagram (@livhawkinss)

So, essentially, the problem with Liv wearing her hair up is exactly what everyone on Twitter has been losing their minds over— the fact that she does it all the time. This will cause excessive pulling on her hair fibre, which will damage the keratin and eventually cause breakage.

“Don’t wear your hair in a snatch ponytail every day,” says Ricky. “Give your hair a break from time to time wearing it down,” he warns to avoid “heartbreak” hair loss.

“Continually change the exact area of your ponytail so you are not pulling on the same hair each time you create this look and use an invisibobble hair band,” he recommends. “A much softer and kinder solution than a regular hair tie that can pull on the hair.”

“Ponytails typically will produce frontal hair loss,” adds extension specialist Tatiana Karelina. “If caught early, traction alopecia can be reversed. This can only happen if the hair follicles have not scarred. If scarring has occurred, then the hair follicles cannot grow back.

Scarring takes a long time to occur with traction alopecia, and there are other warning signs to look for that will indicate that traction alopecia is occurring,” she adds. “These symptoms include: redness of the scalp, bumps, soreness or stinging of the scalp, etc.”

Okay and does Olivia’s ponytail hurt?

Despite looking, for want of a better word, “snatched”, Olivia’s hairstyle is almost certainly doing her head in. When you wear a tight pony, it puts tension on your hair follicles (the little pockets of skin around the root of your hair), according to experts.

So, when Olivia pulls her hair up and back, it’s going to put tension on the follicle units and essentially cut off or reduce the blood supply. Yikes. And because you’ve got nerve endings at the end of your follicles that’s going to be painful. Especially if she’s wearing heavy extensions.

“If there is any pain and headache when putting these hairstyles in, then there will probably be damage to the scalp as a result,” explains Tatiana. “I would recommend Olivia to avoid these tight hairstyles altogether or, if absolutely necessary to have them in, I would recommend to try a looser ‘messier’ option of the same look.”

olivia love island hair loss

Credit: ITV

So, why exactly is Olivia wearing her hair in a high pony tail nearly every single day?

Originally, we wondered whether Olivia was just hot. In February, Cape Town, South Africa is averaging 29 degree heat every day. And who wants extra insulation on the nape of their neck in weather like that?

But after some social media stalking, it’s clear from Liv’s Instagram she’s been faithfully slicking up her pony whatever the weather since at least June 2020. So, she’s in the danger zone.

Someone get a producer with an invisibobble over to her asap.

Olivia Love Island hair loss

Credit: ITV

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